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What’s Up With the Other Earth ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’?

Counter-Earth in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as seen through the viewport of the Guardians' ship

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 takes our favorite Guardians on a whirlwind adventure throughout the cosmos as they try to save Rocket Raccoon and stop the High Evolutionary from conducting more of his nefarious experiments. This adventure takes the Guardians to a place called Counter-Earth, a planet that has an interesting comic book history despite its seeming one-and-done role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Here’s everything you need to know about Counter-Earth and its role in Marvel comics history.

Spoilers ahead for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3!

Why did the High Evolutionary create Counter-Earth?

The origin of Counter-Earth in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is actually quite similar to the comics. In both Marvel universes, the High Evolutionary artificially created Counter-Earth as a place where he could conduct highly unethical experiments without any prying eyes and kickstart the evolution of a supposedly perfect species. Counter-Earth is an almost exact replica of Earth; in the comics, Counter-Earth actually orbits the same sun as Earth but on the exact opposite side. The biggest difference between Counter-Earth and Earth in the comics is that time works differently there, allowing the High Evolutionary to speed up his horrifying evolutionary experiments.

Though we don’t know exactly how the High Evolutionary created Counter-Earth in the MCU, in the comics, he used several Infinity Stones to create the replica planet. Counter-Earth is also an important part of Adam Warlock’s story in the Marvel source material, though this isn’t referenced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. He is, however, still one of the High Evolutionary’s creations and is made to work for him.

In both the comics and the MCU, Counter-Earth is supposed to be a utopia, a perfect place where the High Evolutionary’s experimental hybrid species can live and thrive. But in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it soon becomes clear that this is an impossibly high bar to clear. Crime still happens on Counter-Earth, leading the High Evolutionary to declare his experiment a failure and destroy it and its entire civilization so that he can start anew somewhere else. It’s unlikely he’ll get the chance to do so, however, as he seemed to meet his demise at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

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El (she/her) has been working as a freelance writer for various entertainment websites for over a year, ever since she successfully completed her Ph.D. in Creative Writing. El's primary focus is television and movie coverage for The Mary Sue, including franchises like Marvel and Pokémon, but she is happy to pitch in with gaming content once in a while if it concerns one of the few video games she actually knows anything about. As much as she enjoys analyzing other people's stories, her biggest dream is to one day publish an original fantasy novel of her own.